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Peering into the shrouded heart of a luminous Seyfert galaxy

29 May 2018 Astronomy Now

Seyfert galaxies are unusually luminous, powered by supermassive black holes feeding on galactic dust and debris. It is difficult to peer into the dust-shrouded cores of such galaxies, but the European Southern Observatory, combining radio and optical observations, provides an intriguing glimpse.

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Hubble views face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6814

10 May 2016 Astronomy Now

In this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image we see the striking face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6814, whose luminous nucleus and spectacular sweeping arms are rippled with an intricate pattern of dark dust. The galaxy was discovered by William Herschel in 1788. NGC 6814 lies 74.4 million light-years away in the constellation of Aquila.

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Gazing into the furnace: VST captures the Fornax Cluster

13 April 2016 Astronomy Now

This new image from the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile captures a spectacular concentration of galaxies known as the Fornax Cluster, which can be found in the Southern Hemisphere constellation of Fornax (The Furnace). The cluster plays host to a menagerie of galaxies of all shapes and sizes, some of which are hiding secrets.